Gov. Jerry Brown on Oct. 7 signed into law legislation sponsored by CDA that will equalize the state’s regulatory standards governing portable dental practices and mobile dental vans.
SB 562 by Sen. Cathleen Galgiani (D-Stockton), which received unanimous votes in both houses of the legislature, becomes effective Jan. 1, 2014, but will require future Dental Board of California regulations to fully implement.
Current law requires dentists operating mobile vans to register with the Dental Board and to comply with general standards for emergency care, infection control, etc. The law is silent, however, on operations in which portable dental equipment is brought into schools or other settings by private companies to provide preventive and restorative treatment.
In recent years, this portable mode of care has become more prevalent, and concerns have arisen in some communities about continuity of care and about whether sufficient information is being provided to patients or their parents by these entities.
SB 562 will require dental practices that routinely provide care using portable equipment in non-dental office settings to register with the Dental Board of California in the same manner that operators of mobile facilities are required to currently. The bill will also require the board to adopt regulations establishing standards for continuity of care, availability of patient records and provision of information to patients and parents.
“CDA is very pleased that the Governor has signed SB 562, and would like to thank Senator Galgiani for carrying the bill,” said Robert Hanlon, DMD, chair of CDA’s Government Affairs Council. “Portable dental practices can provide very important access to preventive care and treatment for schoolchildren or nursing home residents. However, right now, the Dental Board has no way of even knowing who is providing this type of care. I first became aware of this issue several years ago when a local community clinic in my area asked me for assistance. This law assures that California’s Dental Practice Act is responsive to changing practice modalities, and will simply assure that the Dental Board has appropriate regulations in place and a mechanism for enforcement when a dental practice fails to meet the standards of care expected of all licensed dentists.”
For more information on CDA’s advocacy efforts, visit cda.org/advocacy.